Key Highlights: Better Reading’s Stories Behind the Story Podcast

Key Highlights: Better Reading’s Stories Behind the Story Podcast

We’re thrilled to announce that Better Reading’s Stories Behind the Story Podcast has reached over 1,000,000 downloads. What a milestone! To celebrate, we’ve put together a list of some of our favourite conversations. This list is by no means exhaustive; there have been so many special authors who have joined us over the years to chat about all things books. Instead, this is but a sample of the incredible conversations we have to offer. Listen to the below episodes on Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts – and while you’re there, don’t forget to leave us a five-star review!

Matthew McConaghey on Humour, Values and Greenlights

That’s right, we had Oscar-award-winning actor Matthew McConaughey on the podcast. Sigh. Matthew spoke to Cheryl about humour (and how we need more of it), values and his memoir, Greenlights. He also reflected on the year he spent in Australia as an exchange student.

Listen to this episode on Apple podcasts and on Spotify.

George Saunders on How Writing Can Fundamentally Change Someone

Booker Prize-winning author George Saunders spoke to Cheryl about the fundamental ways in which writing can change a person. His latest book, A Swim in a Pond in the Rain, is a deep exploration of writing, and how the mind works while reading. This episode is basically a masterclass in the craft of writing, so all you aspiring authors, get listening!

Listen to this episode on Apple podcasts and on Spotify.

Isabel Allende on the Inspiration for Violeta

Bestselling author and literary icon Isabel Allende sat down with Cheryl in San Francisco to discuss her latest novel, Violeta, a fiercely inspiring and deeply emotional story about one woman’s hundred-year life.

Listen to this episode on Apple podcasts and on Spotify.

Julia Gillard on Women and Leadership

Former Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, stopped by the Better Reading office to chat with Cheryl about extraordinary female leaders and her inspiring book, co-authored with Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Women and Leadership.

Listen to this episode on Apple podcasts and on Spotify.

In Conversation With Pulitzer Prize Winner Geraldine Brooks

Earlier this year, we had Booker Prize-winning author Geraldine Brooks in the office! Geraldine spoke with Cheryl about her incredible career and how the Pulitzer Prize changed her life.

Listen to this episode on Apple podcasts and on Spotify.

Ann Patchett Reflecting on Her Life and Career

Award-winning author, and literary legend, Ann Patchett spoke to Cheryl about why she decided to write her essay collection, These Precious Days, and how it helped her reflect on her life.

Listen to this episode on Apple podcasts and on Spotify.

Richard Flanagan on Unexpected Tenderness and Grateful Wonder

Booker Prize-winning author Richard Flanagan has joined Cheryl not once, but twice on the podcast! In this episode, he spoke about his renewed attention to the beauty of the world, something he explores in his novel The Living Sea of Waking Dreams.

Listen to this episode on Apple podcasts and on Spotify.

Tim Winton on 40 Years of Storytelling

One of Australia’s most celebrated storytellers, and Four-time Miles Franklin award-winner Tim Winton, spoke with Cheryl about his 40 years of writing, and how stories help us understand the world.

Listen to this episode on Apple podcasts and on Spotify.

Christos Tsiolkas on How His Cultural Heritage has Influenced his Writing

Cheryl spoke to award-winning Australian author Christos Tsiolkas about learning to love his cultural heritage and what that meant for his writing.

Listen to this episode on Apple podcasts and on Spotify.

Caroline Overington on How She Turned Lockdown into a Bestselling Thriller

Associate Editor of The Australian and bestselling author Caroline Overington spoke with Cheryl about turning The Cuckoo’s Cry audiobook into a written novel, and why she decided to set this gripping thriller during lockdown.

Listen to this episode on Apple podcasts and on Spotify.

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                      Matthew McConaughey
                      About the author

                      Matthew McConaughey

                      Academy Award-winning actor Matthew McConaughey is a married man, a father of three children, and a loyal son and brother. He considers himself a storyteller by occupation, believes it's okay to have a beer on the way to the temple, feels better with a day's sweat on him, and is an aspiring orchestral conductor. In 2009, Matthew and his wife, Camila, founded the just keep livin Foundation, which helps at-risk high school students make healthier mind, body, and spirit choices. In 2019, McConaughey became a professor of practice at the University of Texas at Austin, as well as Minister of Culture/M.O.C. for the University of Texas and the City of Austin. McConaughey is also brand ambassador for Lincoln Motor Company, an owner of the Major League Soccer club Austin FC, and co-creator of his favourite bourbon on the planet, Wild Turkey Longbranch.

                      Books by Matthew McConaughey

                      George Saunders
                      About the author

                      George Saunders

                      About the AuthorGeorge Saunders is the author of nine books, including Tenth of December, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and won the inaugural Folio Prize (for the best work of fiction in English) and the Story Prize (best short-story collection). He has received MacArthur and Guggen-heim fellowships and the PEN/Malamud Prize for excellence in the short story, and was recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2013, he was named one of the world's 100 most influential people by Time magazine. He teaches in the creative writing program at Syracuse University.

                      Books by George Saunders

                      Julia Gillard
                      About the author

                      Julia Gillard

                      Julia Gillard was sworn in as the 27th Prime Minister of Australia on 24 June 2010 and served in that office until June 2013. Previously, following the Australian Labor Party's victory at the 2007 Federal Election, Ms Gillard served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and Social Inclusion. Ms Gillard was born in Barry, Wales in 1961. She is the daughter of a nurse and aged care worker. Her family migrated to Australia in 1966 and she grew up in Adelaide.Ms Gillard developed Australia's guiding policy paper, Australia in the Asian Century. Ms Gillard delivered nation-changing policies including reforming Australia education at every level from early childhood to university education, creating an emissions trading scheme, improving the provision and sustainability of health care, aged care and dental care, commencing the nation's first ever national scheme to care for people with disabilities and restructuring the telecommunications sector as well as building a national broadband network.In foreign policy, Ms Gillard strengthened Australia's alliance with the United States, secured stronger architecture for the relationship with China, upgraded Australia's ties with India, and deepened ties with Japan, Indonesia and South Korea. Ms Gillard has represented Australia at the G20, including winning Australia's right to host the 2014 meeting, the East Asia Summit, APEC, NATO-ISAF and chaired CHOGM. Under Ms Gillard's leadership, Australia was elected to the United Nations Security Council.In October 2012, Ms Gillard received worldwide attention for her speech in Parliament on the treatment of women in professional and public life.After departing politics, Ms Gillard has accepted roles as honorary Professor of Politics at University of Adelaide and Nonresident Senior Fellow, Global Economy and Development at Brookings Institution.In March 2014 Ms Gillard was appointed as chair of a global education program that aims to get the world's poorest children into school. The Global Partnership for Education is an international initiative made up of nearly 60 developing countries, donor governments, international organisations, the private sector and civil society groups.

                      Books by Julia Gillard

                      Ann Patchett
                      About the author

                      Ann Patchett

                      Ann Patchett is the author of six novels and three works of nonfiction. She is the winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award, England's Orange Prize for Bel Canto, and the Book Sense Book of the Year, and was named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World. Her work has been translated into more than thirty languages. She is the co-owner of Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee, where she lives with her husband, Karl, and their dog, Sparky.

                      Books by Ann Patchett

                      Richard Flanagan
                      About the author

                      Richard Flanagan

                      Richard Flanagan's novels have received numerous honours and are published in forty-two countries. He won the Booker Prize for The Narrow Road to the Deep North and the Commonwealth Prize for Gould’s Book of Fish. A rapid on the Franklin River is named after him.

                      Books by Richard Flanagan

                      Christos Tsiolkas
                      About the author

                      Christos Tsiolkas

                      Christos Tsiolkas is the author of five novels: Loaded, which was made into the feature film Head-OnThe Jesus Man and Dead Europe, which won the 2006 Age Fiction Prize and the 2006 Melbourne Best Writing Award. He won Overall Best Book in the Commonwealth Writers' Prize 2009, was shortlisted for the 2009 Miles Franklin Literary Award, longlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize and won the Australian Literary Society Gold Medal for his novel, The Slap, which was also announced as the 2009 Australian Booksellers Association and Australian Book Industry Awards Books of the Year. He is also a playwright, essayist and screen writer. He lives in Melbourne. Christos' latest novel is Barracuda, which was published here and in the UK to rave reviews in late 2013 and became an instant bestseller.

                      Books by Christos Tsiolkas

                      Tim Winton
                      About the author

                      Tim Winton

                      Tim Winton has published twenty-nine books for adults and children, and his work has been translated into twenty-eight languages. Since his first novel, An Open Swimmer, won the Australian Vogel Award in 1981, he has won the Miles Franklin Award four times (for ShallowsCloudstreet, Dirt Music and Breath) and twice been shortlisted for the Booker Prize (for The Riders and Dirt Music). He lives in Western Australia.

                      Books by Tim Winton

                      Caroline Overington
                      About the author

                      Caroline Overington

                      Caroline Overington is a bestselling Australian author and an award-winning journalist. She has previously written for the Age, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian and the Australian Women’s Weekly, and has twice won Australia’s prestigious journalism award, The Walkley Award for Investigative Journalism. She has written eleven books, including Last Woman Hanged, which won the Davitt Award for True Crime Writing in 2015 and I Came To Say Goodbye, shortlisted for both Book of the Year, and Fiction Book of the Year, at the 2012 Australian Book Industry Awards.  She has profiled some of the world’s most famous women including Hillary Clinton and Oprah Winfrey, and lives in Sydney with her family, a blue dog and a lizard.

                      Books by Caroline Overington

                      Geraldine Brooks
                      About the author

                      Geraldine Brooks

                      Australian-born Geraldine Brooks is an author and journalist who grew up in the Western suburbs of Sydney, and attended Bethlehem College Ashfield and the University of Sydney. She worked as a reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald for three years as a feature writer with a special interest in environmental issues.In 1982 she won the Greg Shackleton Australian News Correspondents scholarship to the journalism master’s program at Columbia University in New York City. Later she worked for The Wall Street Journal, where she covered crises in the the Middle East, Africa, and the Balkans. In 2006 she was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies at Harvard University.She was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2006 for her novel March. Her most recent novel, Caleb’s Crossing, was a New York Times best seller. Other novels, Year of Wonders and People of the Book, are international bestsellers, translated into more than 25 languages. She is also the author of the nonfiction works Nine Parts of Desire and Foreign Correspondence.Brooks married author Tony Horwitz in Tourette-sur-Loup, France, in 1984. They have two sons– Nathaniel and Bizuayehu–a dog named Milo and a horse named Butter. They live by an old mill pond on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.

                      Books by Geraldine Brooks

                      Isabel Allende
                      About the author

                      Isabel Allende

                      Isabel Allende was born in 1942 Lima, Peru. She grew up in Chile and now lives in California.She is the author of novels The House of the Spirits, Of Love And Shadows, Eva LunaThe Infinite Plan, Paula, Daughter of Fortune, Portrait in Sepia, My Invented Country, Zorro, Inés of My Soul, The Sum of Our Days and The Island Beneath the Sea.

                      Books by Isabel Allende

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