In This Issue (August 2006)
Table of contents
Letters to the editor
A whole box of beautiful books in one go - I'm thrilled. I have been on book-replacement therapy for the past three years, after my entire treasured book collection (40+ years' worth) was reduced to ash during the Canberra bushfires in January 2003.
My new book collection has been progressively stacked in the empty corners of my rebuilt house... but this is it, I do believe I'm now ready to invest in my first bookcase of the PBF (post-bushfire) era.
Thank you so much.
Weston Creek, ACT
Having read every issue of gr since its inception and having been an insatiable reader of books for 50+ years, I am confident to announce the attributes for successful authors in the third millennium:
Essential attributes: female, preferably under 30 and attractive; busy, busy, busy executive, mother, etc; paid-up member of the Anti-Syntax Society; signatory to the Australian Code of Political Correctness.
Desirable attributes: indigenous or ethnic antecedents; at least one parent somehow escaped the Holocaust; a lurid past will be viewed favourably; demonstrated ability to employ 1,000 words when 100 would do.
Of this I am certain: being a WHASAMAMA (white, heterosexual, Anglo Saxon, apolitical, middle-aged male apostate) will not impress!
Yours, with tongue in cheek,
Letter from the editor
Despite having told you in July that this month's issue has exclusively male interviews, a last-minute change of plan (ah, what would life on a monthly magazine be without last-minute changes of plan!) has meant that we are in fact running an interview with Jane Friedman, international CEO of HarperCollins, who was out here visiting the Australian operation recently. Read what she has to say about publisher-reader relations on page 22.
But Jane (and Rachel Ward) aside, this month's issue has a decidedly blokey feel. Our author profile is of Bryce Courtenay, he of the multi-bestselling oeuvre. Read how he has incorporated his South African and Australian experiences into his novels on page 8. Another bestselling author has had a very different life: Boris Akunin, once an academic who declared the death of the novel, is now an internationally known crime writer, and Ben Naparstek's interview with him is on page 12.
Tim Flannery has written many challenging and important books about nature conservation and our history of land management (or mis management), but none more so than his latest, The Weather-Makers, in which he outlines the ways in which humans are affecting the climate of the planet. Tim recently recorded this as an audio book; gr takes a look at this and his other works on page 16. That's followed on page 18 by Lachlan Jobbins's dive into the adrenalin-drenched world of action-packed adventure books, thrillers whose heroes are unstoppable savers of humankind from dastardly villains and fiendish plots. (And Lachlan so enjoyed the experience that he wrote us a letter about it, which we've run on page 6.)
Our advertising manager Beth Parton has put together a great Fathers Day gift guide, jampacked with goodies for dads everywhere, which starts on page 23, and on page 46 you can read about the resurrection of the old clipper ship James Craig, a monumental labour of love by hundreds of dedicated sailors. Finally, author Conn Iggulden fondly remembers his boy's own adventures in childhood - the reason he and his brother Hal decided to put together a book for boys which encourages good old-fashioned boyhood daredevilry. I'm sure all parents and grandparents reading this will agree with me that anything that inspires boys and young men to acquire the habit of reading just has to be A Good Thing.
If your letter is published, you will receive a MightyBright XtraFlex 2 LED Booklight vakued at $26.95! The wonderfully useful and stylish booklight has 2 LED lights on one head on a flexible arm.
The manufaturer Arnott's of Australia (who's tagline is 'Not the biscuit co'), says the globes will never need replacing.
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