This is a word from our Content Director about what the month holds for us.
Did you ever wonder why we keep books? Why they haven't become (completely) obsolete in a world of blockbuster movies and Fallout 4? Why people still bother to visit a bookstore and pick up a tight 80,000 words printed on dead trees when in the glorious dystopian future we live in, we can just order the same words wirelessly to our phones. Or better yet, not read the words at all, and instead argue with an angry, angry egg on Twitter all afternoon.
Why is it that, even in an agile, technologically miraculous future, every time we move house, we still have to deal with this?
I've heard that we collect books as tactile reminders of what we've read; souvenirs of the things we learned and the adventures we went on. Or I've been accused of hoarding books as a form of trophy hunting—look how much I've read. I must be smart as all get-out.
I once had an interior designer tell me that bookshelves weren't even about showing off books. They were about showing off how much room your house had, that you could afford to waste valuable space by filling it with these ostentatious word-bricks. I found out there are places that sell hefty hardbacks by the yard to line the walls of studies and offices to make them look erudite.
Truthfully, I think, books are all these things. They are also integral to a pure, atavistic part of human nature; bitching and moaning.
We read books because we are human. We read so we can learn. We read so we can squabble about what we've learned. We read so we can form book clubs, and then argue vigorously about whether the literary career of Paulo Coelho is a trick being played on rich hippies.
In any case, here at Writers Bloc, we applaud anyone inspired to pick up a book, put it down, and then discuss it over mini pizzas. To that end we're starting out own book club called, appropriately enough, Bloc Club.
Each month we'll choose a book which we think you absolutely positively must read, and then discuss with us.
We'll review the book so you can decide if it's for you, and throughout the month we'll provide reading notes, essays, stories and other content to enhance your experience of the book. We'll interview the authors, and best of all, we'll arrange for you to be able to discuss the books directly with the authors.
To take part, all you need to do is buy the book, read it, and join in the discussion with us and the community.
To buy the book at a discounted rate, click on the cover image below, and our friends at Booktopia will ship it right to your door. Even better, for every book you buy this way, we get a (tiny, tiny, really quite miniscule) payment which will allow Writers Bloc to continue to support our community of writers and readers.
So, without further ado, we'd like to present this month's Bloc Club Book.
NOT JUST BLACK AND WHITE
Not Just Black and White is the story of two Aboriginal women, mother and daughter, and their long struggle to wring a little decency out of the world.
Lesley Williams was born into Queensland's Cherbourg Aboriginal Settlement, destined for a life as a domestic servant, her wages kept in trust by the government and never paid in full. After a lifetime of hardship and tragedy, in which she is confronted and held back at every turn by deeply ingrained racism, a quest to recover her stolen wages leads her to fight back against the system.
Inspired by her activist mother, Tammy Williams will become a lawyer and advocate, and together they will fight bureaucracy, corruption and hatred, on a journey that will take them to the United Nations in Geneva, and the Jackson Neverland Ranch, thanks to a little help from Michael Jackson (really). Told with honesty and humour, Not Just Black and White is an extraordinary memoir about two women determined to make sure history is not forgotten.
Liam Pieper is the former Editor of Writers Bloc. His 2014 memoir, The Feel-Good Hit of The Year, was shortlisted for the National Biography Award and a Ned Kelly award. His most recent book is The Toymaker, which was long-listed for best debut fiction by the Indie Book Awards and won the Fellowship of Australian Writers Christina Stead Fiction Award. @liampieper