Wuthering Heights has achieved an almost mythical status as a love story, yet it is also a unique masterpiece of the imagination: an unsettling, transgressive novel about obsession, violence and death.
“May you not rest, as long as I am living. You said I killed you – haunt me, then.”
Lockwood, the new tenant of Thrushcross Grange on the bleak Yorkshire moors, is forced to seek shelter one night at Wuthering Heights, the home of his landlord. There he discovers the history of the tempestuous events that took place years before: of the intense passion between the foundling Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw, and her betrayal of him. As Heathcliff’s bitterness and vengeance is visited upon the next generation, their innocent heirs must struggle to escape the legacy of the past.
July marks the bicentenary of Emily Bronte’s birth (July 30, 1818) so we’ve made her book Wuthering Heights the classic read for July. We will be talking about it on Wednesday 11th July at Orange City Library at 5.30pm. All welcome. Please RSVP online through eventbrite.com or call the library on 6393 8132.
The 2018 Miles Franklin Literary Award Shortlist has been announced:
- NO MORE BOATS by Felicity Castagna (Giramondo Publishing): A man, once a migrant himself, finds his world imploding. He is forced to retire, his wife and left him, and his children ignore him. The 2001 Tampa crisis is the background to his despair at the disappearance of the certainties he once knew.
- THE LIFE TO COME by Michelle de Kretser (Allen & Unwin): Revolving around three characters in Sydney, Paris and Sri Lanka, this novel is about the stories we tell and don’t tell ourselves as individuals, societies and nations, and highlights how the past and future can change the present.
- THE LAST GARDEN by Eva Hornung (Text Publishing):When Matthias Orion shoots his wife and himself, on the same day their son Benedict returns from boarding school, a small religious community is shattered. Benedict is struck dumb with grief. Their pastor feels his authority challenged by the tragedy. Both must come to terms with the unknowable past and the frailties of being human.
- STORYLAND by Catherine McKinnon (HarperCollins Publishers): Set on Lake Illawarra, this is a compelling novel of five separate narratives which span four centuries. Ultimately all these characters are connected by blood, history, place and memory: together they tell the story of Australia.
- BORDER DISTRICTS by Gerald Murnane (Giramondo Publishing): Similar to the author himself, the narrator of this novel has moved from bustling Melbourne to a small town on the Wimmera Plains, where he intends to spend the last years of his life. Mediating on fragments of his past, exhaustively and compulsively, Border Districts explores the border land between life and death.
- TABOO by Kim Scott (Picador Australia – Pan Macmillan Australia): Set in present-day rural Western Australia, this novel tells the story of a group of Noongar people, who after many decades revisit a taboo area: the site of a massacre. Taboo explores how the Noongar and descendants of the family that initiated the massacre so long ago wrestle with the possibilities of reconciliation.
For more details go to the Miles Franklin Literary Award website.
We will be discussing the Miles Franklin Literary Award nominated books on Wednesday 8th August at 5.30pm at Orange City Library.
Quotes from the Scottish play Macbeth such as “Out out damned spot” were being remembered from high school days as Pageturners talked about Jo Nesbo’s re-imaging of the play into a 1970s police corruption and drug gang tale as part of the Hogarth Shakespeare series.
The discussion centred around characters and plot twists from the book and what was in the play. From Lady Macbeth’s influence over Macbeth and demise, the purely evil Hecate, witches and their “brew”, Caithness becomes a policewoman, Duncan is head of the police and Malcolm is his deputy, Macduff is re-named Duff and is head of the Narcotics Unit, Macbeth heads the SWAT Unit and chases power like a drug while the book is filled with murders and a high body count. Locations – Fife, Inverness and Birnam Wood also feature in the book in various guises.
Pageturners described it as action-orientated, engrossing, parallels were good, fast-paced, exciting, lengthy, dragged-on, far-fetched, awful, uncomfortable, dark and violent.
Some of our Pageturners disliked it with one minus score and 2.5s or loved it with scores of four out of five. The average score was 3.
The next read on 11th July is the classic Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. It’s Bronte’s masterpiece about Cathy and Heathcliff – a tale of love and revenge on the Yorkshire moors.
On 8th August we will discuss books on the Miles Franklin Literary Award Longlist. Please read one of the novels and we will have a competition to try and guess the winner. Some of the books are now available on Borrowbox through Central West Libraries.
Love reading? Each month we discover different authors, topical themes and thought-provoking reads. The group usually meets on the second Wednesday of the month from 5.30pm to 7 pm.
The June meeting will be held on Wednesday 13th June at 5.30pm at Orange City Library. The book for discussion is Jo Nesbo’s Macbeth. This book is a reimagining of Shakespeare’s famous play Macbeth for the Hogarth Shakespeare project. Best-selling thriller crime writer Jo Nesbo has captured the tale of political ambition and rejigged it as a corrupt police crime and drug gang story.
From the publisher:
A heart-pounding new thriller from the author of The Snowman and The Thirst. Set in the 1970s in a run-down, rainy industrial town, Jo Nesbo’s Macbeth centers around a police force struggling to shed an incessant drug problem. Duncan, chief of police, is idealistic and visionary, a dream to the townspeople but a nightmare for criminals. The drug trade is ruled by two drug lords, one of whom—a master of manipulation named Hecate—has connections with the highest in power, and plans to use them to get his way. Hecate’s plot hinges on steadily, insidiously manipulating Inspector Macbeth: the head of SWAT and a man already susceptible to violent and paranoid tendencies. What follows is an unputdownable story of love and guilt, political ambition, and greed for more, exploring the darkest corners of human nature, and the aspirations of the criminal mind.
Don’t forget to RSVP by going online through eventbrite or call the Library on 6393 8132.
Here is the Top Ten Fiction Bestseller List from Better Reading:
- The Outsider by Stephen King (Hachette)
- The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris (Echo Publishing)
- The Fallen by David Baldacci (Pan MacMillan)
- Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (HarperCollins)
- Private Princess by James Patterson (Cornerstone)
- The Shepherd’s Hut by Tim Winton (Penguin)
- Death Is Not Enough by Karen Rose (Hachette)
- The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn (HarperCollins)
- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows (Allen & Unwin)
- Warlight by Michael Ondaatge (Johnathan Cape)
© Nielsen BookScan 2018 Week Ending 26/05/18.
Please note the number ten book Warlight by Michael Ondaatge is our read for September.
Still want more to read? You can also check out the weekly top 10 bestselling non-fiction list and the top 10 bestselling children’s books list on Better Reading.
The shortlist for the Golden Man Booker Prize has been announced. This special one-off award for Man Booker Prize’s 50th anniversary celebrations will crown the best work of fiction from the last five decades of the prize.
All 51 previous winners were considered by a panel of five specially appointed judges, each of whom was asked to read the winning novels from one decade of the prize’s history. We can now reveal that that the ‘Golden Five’ – the books thought to have best stood the test of time – are: In a Free State by V. S. Naipaul; Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively; The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje; Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel; and Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders.
- Robert McCrum (Judge), 1971, In a Free State by V. S. Naipaul, UK, published by Picador
- Lemn Sissay (Judge), 1987, Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively, UK, published by Penguin
- Kamila Shamsie (Judge), 1992, The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje, Canada, published by Bloomsbury
- Simon Mayo (Judge), 2009, Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, UK, published by Fourth Estate
- Hollie McNish (Judge), 2017, Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders, USA, published by Bloomsbury.
For more about key dates, public voting and the books go to the Man Booker Prize website:
The Miles Franklin Literary Award Longlist has been announced. The longlisted authors are:
- Peter Carey: The Long Way Home (Penguin Random House)
- Felicity Castagna: No More Boats (Giramondo Publishing)
- Michelle de Kretser: The Life to Come (Allen & Unwin)
- Lia Hills: The Crying Place (Allen & Unwin)
- Eva Hornung: The Last Garden (Text Publishing)
- Wayne Macauley: Some Tests (Text Publishing)
- Catherine McKinnon: Storyland (HarperCollins Publishers)
- Gerald Murnane: Border Districts (Giramondo Publishing)
- Jane Rawson: From the Wreck (Transit Lounge)
- Michael Sala: The Restorer (Text Publishing)
- Kim Scott: Taboo (Picador Australia)
For more on the longlist go to: https://www.perpetual.com.au/insights/three-past-winners-make-miles-franklin-literary-award-longlist
And here is an ABC news item: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-23/miles-franklin-award-longlist-2018/9788492
We will be talking about these books at Pageturners on Wednesday 8th August.
Upcoming discussions are:
13 June: Macbeth by Jo Nesbo
11 July: Our classic read is Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
8 August: Miles Franklin Literary Award Longlist (Choose one to read and try to predict the winner)
12 September: Warlight by Michael Ondaatje
Winner of the Man Booker International Prize 2018 is Polish writer Olga Tokarzck for Flights translated by Jennifer Croft.
The Guardian reports Tokarczuk is a bestselling author in Poland, where she has won numerous awards and is a household name. In Flights, she meditates on travel and human anatomy, moving between stories including the Dutch anatomist who discovered the Achilles tendon when dissecting his own amputated leg, and the tale of Chopin’s heart as his sister transported it from Paris to Warsaw.
For more details go to: http://themanbookerprize.com/international
And read The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/may/22/olga-tokarczuk-flights-wins-man-booker-international-prize-polish
We had so much to talk about last night’s meeting with Tim Winton’s best selling book The Shepherd’s Hut. First we tried to describe the book using words such as compelling, evocative, character-centred, complex, thought-provoking, bittersweet, bleak, small-town, austere, stark, thoughtful, uncomfortable and powerful. Then we spoke about the characters – the teenage boy Jaxie Clackton, the priest Fintan McGillis, Shirley (mother), Captain (father) and Lee.
We also talked about the religious connotations, Jaxie’s point of view and small town behaviour. There was also discussion about the meaning of the title and it’s significance to the book. We also discussed the reasons why the priest was banished to the bush and how Tim Winton left it up to the reader to decide if the ending was hopeful or doomed.
Pageturners rated the book mostly 4 out of 5 stars with a 2 and a 3 in the mix. The reasons for the dislikes included the violence and the language which some found disturbing.
For more about the author listen to the Better Reading Tim Winton interview podcast and/or the ABC Radio interview with Tim Winton and Richard Glover.
**The next book for discussion is Macbeth by Jo Nesbo – part of the Hogarth Shakespeare series where writers are asked to reimagine a Shakespeare tale – on Wednesday 13 June at Orange City Library at 5.30pm.
We are meeting on Wednesday 9th May at 5.30pm at Orange City Library to discuss Tim Winton’s latest book The Shepherd’s Hut. Don’t forget to RSVP via eventbrite or call the Library on 6393 8132.
A rifle-shot of a novel – crisp, fast, shocking – The Shepherd’s Hut is an urgent masterpiece about solitude, unlikely friendship, and the raw business of survival.
Jaxie dreads going home. His mum’s dead. The old man bashes him without mercy, and he wishes he was an orphan. But no one’s ever told Jaxie Clackton to be careful what he wishes for. In one terrible moment his life is stripped to little more than what he can carry and how he can keep himself alive. There’s just one person left in the world who understands him and what he still dares to hope for. But to reach her he’ll have to cross the vast saltlands on a trek that only a dreamer or a fugitive would attempt. The Shepherd’s Hut is a searing look at what it takes to keep love and hope alive in a parched and brutal world.
Australian Book Review:
See you there!