On Events in April, with Chris Gordon
We are keeping our events program out of our shops for the time being. This is good news for those of you who want a guaranteed a seat at our discussions and book launches or indeed, for those of you who would prefer to stay at home. Our events will be staged at external venues near our shops, as well as continuing online via Zoom. My hope is that by offering this hybrid style of programming, there will be no excuse for you not to join us as we set about tackling the meaning behind the words.
We have never been afraid of change here at Readings. We want our events program to ignite discussions and consider the experiences we all grapple with. I am delighted to tell you that we have some exceptional thinkers and leaders coming up, whose insight will hopefully provide you with some clarity around the issues facing our beautiful country. For example, we are delighted to have our own managing director Mark Rubbo talking with Stan Grant about Grant’s new book With the Falling of the Dusk. Grant is one of our foremost observers and chroniclers of the world in crisis. His new book combines his personal experiences reporting from the world’s flashpoints with his deep understanding of politics, history and philosophy, to explore what is driving the world to crisis and how it might be averted. To be honest, he does fear the worst, but he also provides ideas for our future. Those of you interested in thinking about the future should also book into our event with Hugh Mackay and Paul Barclay. Together they will examine the ideals of kindness, forgiveness and indeed, hope, asking us to imagine how different our society could be if we applied those ideals more widely.
Reading novels can also give us fodder for examination. I recently read journalist Jacqueline Maley’s book The Truth About Her, in preparation for her event with Melissa Fyfe in April. This is a tender, intelligent and moving exploration of guilt, shame, female anger and motherhood, with all its trouble and treasure. Mostly, it is a story about the nature of stories – who owns them, who gets to tell them, and why we need them. Books like Maley’s are the reason Readings events are so very good. Hearing the author speak about the stories behind the book gives us an extraordinarily lucky opportunity to reflect on our own positions, beliefs and reading choices. It can give us the stories to share at dinner parties, at book groups and at work. It can give us more than we ever bargained for.
Do keep abreast of our programming by signing up for our e-newsletter or by checking our events page on the Readings website (www.readings.com.au/events). You’ll find an answer there, I promise.