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UK journalist and editor MARINA BENJAMIN looks at the joys, losses and opportunities of middle age in her new book, The Middlepause. In this extract she writes about the secret misogynistic history of HRT.  
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Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • Best known to TV audiences as Goliath fromthequiz show The Chase, MATT PARKINSON was also one half of the Empty Pockets comedy duo. He cleaned up as a champion on Sale of the Century in the 1990s and since then he has served as the brains trust on ABC TV’s The Einstein Factor. We asked this big man (he’s nearly two metres tall) with a big brain about the books that have made him the brainiac that he is.  Read on >
  • JOHN KINSELLA is the author of 30 books and is the three-time winner of the WA Premier's Book Award for Poetry. He's a fellow at Cambridge's Churchill college and the editor of international literary journal Salt. The self-described vegan/anarchist/pacifist tells Good Reading asked him about his new short story collection, Old Growth.   Read on >
  • The rugged beauty of England’s Lake District looms large in the latest psychological thriller by Perth-based author SARA FOSTER. She shares her passion for the natural world and her concerns about the potential impacts of electronic media with MAUREEN EPPEN. Read on >
  • While researching for a non-fiction book about the botanical history of some of the world’s most popular alcoholic drinks, US author AMY STEWART stumbled across a gin smuggler’s altercation with an officious woman named Constance Kopp. This discovery catalysed her historical crime-fiction series, set in New Jersey in 1915, based on Constance and her two sisters. As the second instalment in the series, Lady Cop Makes Trouble, is released, ANGUS DALTON finds out more. Read on >
  • This book might have the word ‘tax’ in its title, but don’t let that dreary term fool you. The Great Multinational Tax Rort tells the intriguing tale of how, for decades, multinational corporations have been slithering out of their obligations to pay their fair share of tax, leaving governments with shrinking funds to pay for essential services for their citizens. In this extract, MARTIN FEIL, also the author of The Failure of Free-Market Economics, outlines some of the techniques these business behemoths use to cunningly avoid paying tax – leaving us all the poorer. Read on >
  • RITU MENON loves to travel and she loves to sample the local fare of the places her journeys take her to.Her new book, Loitering with Intent: Diary of a happy traveller, is derived from over a decade of travel journal writing. Here she recounts how she came to write the book and recalls a couple of fabulous Italian feasts. Read on >
  • He has worked as a wilderness guide, a ranch hand and a dogsled musher – and he’s also a skilled marksman. But ERIK STOREY, a lover of the great outdoors, has come in out of the wild for long enough to turn out his first novel, Nothing Short of Dying. A thriller set in the mountainous landscape of western Colorado, it features Clyde Barr, a man with a military past who is fresh out of prison. We talked with Erik recently about dealing with rejection, the lure of western Colorado and his number-one tip for surviving in the wild. Read on >
  • Heart surgeon PROFESSOR STEPHEN WESTABY has worked for 35 years to save ailing hearts and, in many cases, give his patients a second chance at life. In his new memoir, Fragile Lives, Westaby recounts remarkable and poignant cases, such as the baby who had suffered multiple heart attacks before reaching six months of age. We asked him to tell us a bit about his life as a surgeon. Read on >
  • We talk with PATRICK HOLLAND, a longlist nominee for the 2011 Miles Franklin Award for his novel The Mary Smokes Boys, about his new novel, One, which tells the story of the real-life Kenniff brothers. These two late-19th-century Queenslanders were Australia’s last bushrangers, and vPatrick questions the extent of their supposed villainy. Read on >
  • Most of us think of Australia as a sunny land filled with straightforward, open and candid people. But in ANNA ROMER’s version of the country, it’s a place filled with secrets and people who will do anything to keep them concealed. She talks with ALEX HENDERSON about her new book, Beyond the Orchard, Victoria’s haunted Otway Coast and the power of fear. Read on >
  • Biographies have long fascinated readers, serving as guides for how to live our own lives or often just giving us an intriguing peek into the world of extraordinary people. In this round-up we look at a comedian with a disability, a magician with a learning disorder, the real man behind Walter White of Breaking Bad and more. But we’re bending the biography rules a bit by also including a book by a philosopher that will prompt you to think about living a better life, a book about Aussies at war and an account of Queensland police leading lives of corruption. Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • 5 STAR REVIEW Ben and Grace Walker grew up surfing in an Australian coastal town. While Ben rode the swell all the way to surf sponsorships, Grace was always overshadowed by her twin.That is, until a wave comes crashing down on both of them, and Grace is left to wade in the ocean alone. Breathing Under Water is unequivocally Australian.  Read on >

  • 5 STAR REVIEW Imagine a perfect life where the great works of your career are acknowledged and you are given the status you deserve as a master of your craft. This is what any Chronicler would want and feel they deserved after writing what was considered to be one of the Great Tales. Read on >

  • It’s been a year since Tuesday’s father died, but the bleak cloud of gloom that settled on the house at that awful time has not yet lifted. Her mother’s typewriter is covered in dust and Tuesday’s notebooks lie unused. In the world of story, winter has come with a vengeance, covering everything with ice and snow. If something doesn’t happen soon, all the living creatures in that world, including Vivienne Small, will die of cold and starvation. Read on >

  • 4 STAR REVIEW Ona Vitkus is 104 years old and has accepted the fact that she won’t be alive for much longer. That is, until the boy starts visiting her. This child is, for all intents and purposes, a boy scout doing his bit for the community but who brings Ona so much more.  The boy’s life is centered on world records and, intrigued by Ona and her age, he decides that she needs to achieve her own world record. So begins an unlikely friendship that inspires Ona to start living again. Read on >

  • 4 STAR REVIEW Ye Xin is one of over 14 million high school graduates in Chine who were forced to leave the cities during the Cultural Revolution and work in rural areas, where they received re-education from the peasants. They were the zhiqing or ‘educated youth’. In the 1970s Ye Xin, along with masses of others, was allowed to return to his home city if he had no job in the rural area or if he were unmarried. He qualified, but others divorced their spouses and their children were left behind. Many of these zhiqing started new relationships in the city and kept their past lives undisclosed. Imagine the disturbance when, years later, a group of children come to look for their birth parents. Read on >

  • 4 STAR REVIEW Whisper to Me is written in the form of a letter from teenager Cassie to a boy she fell in love with over the summer but left broken-hearted. She is hoping her writing will redeem her and explain her behaviour. Always an outsider, Cassie has experienced a combinationof awkward social moments, accidents and bad luck that have firmly established her as a loner. But it’s the loss of her mother and the guilt Cassie carries around because of her death that triggers her descent into mental illness. Read on >