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For some women, bad men cast an irresistibly magnetic spell. Melbourne-based author LAURA ELIZABETH WOOLLETT examines this often fatal attraction in  The Love of a Bad Man, a collection of 12 stories based on the lives of real women who sought the love of criminals. In this extract from ‘Eva’, the author imagines the post-coital thoughts of Eva Braun, who met Adolf Hitler when she was 17.
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Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • I switched on to watch ABC TV’s The Drum one evening and discovered Jodi Picoult sitting on the panel discussion.What a great performer she is – not only an impressive writer but also an impressive speaker.The discussion at the table was raging around whether a white author has the right, or could even have the understanding, to write about black characters. As a white woman, how could she really know what’s it’s like to be a black woman, let alone a black man? How could she write black characters and make them authentic without knowing how they feel? Read on >
  • When she’s not training her inquisitorial blowtorch on politicians and other people who have questions to answer, ABC reporter and presenter SARAH FERGUSON loves to delve into a book. Her new book, The Killing Season Uncut, recounts the behind-the-scenes tales of the television program about the tumultuous Rudd–Gillard years. We asked the multi-award winning Four Corners reporter to tell us about the books that have influenced her. Read on >
  • Australian novelist NICOLA MORIARTY is the youngest of six siblings, two of whom – Jacyln and Liane – are also accomplished novelists. Her latest novel, The Fifth Letter, examines the relationships of a group of friends after a letter-writing dare uncovers a festering cache of secrets andr esentment. ANGUS DALTON reports. Read on >
  • Most of Lonely Planet’s publications can fit snugly at the bottom of a backpack, but The Travel Book is a volume best left at home on the coffee table to inspire adventures.  Read on >
  • Who would have thought that in the largely homogeneous country of China that there could be a group of people who could trace their lineage back to invading Romans? TONY GREY uncovered this intriguing bit of information while travelling in China, and here he tells how he came to write his historical novel, The Tortoise in Asia, which tells the story of Romans travelling along the Silk Road in ancient times. Read on >
  • We chat to aspiring astronaut and sci-fi writer S J Kincaid on haunted graveyards, Star Trek, and her new YA galactic thriller, The Diabolic.  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 >
  • American author and hairdresser DEBORAH RODRIGUEZ lived in the Afghan capital of Kabul for five years, and in that time she founded her own beauty salon and coffee shop. On her return to the US, she wrote a bestselling novel based on the bustling cafe, and now she’s taking us back to Afghanistan in Return to the Little Coffee Shop of Kabul. ANGUS DALTON reports. Read on >
  • The jazz era of the 1920s in America was
 filled with exuberant music, fast cars and young men and women determined to have a good time. But at the same time in working-class Far North Queensland, life wasn’t lived at quite the same level of opulence.
In a new novel, Treading Air, Queensland author ARIELLA VAN LUYN uses fiction to investigate the life of a real young woman from Townsville named Lizzie O’Dea, who shot another woman in 1924. Read on >
  • Thirteen-year-old gamer Beth loves fighting beasts and solving riddles in her favourite online game, Tordon. But she soon faces her own adventure when she and her gaming nemesis are sucked into a new adventure filled world where they have to fight for their own survival. Into Tordon is a collaborative novel by 9 authors, written under the pseudonym of Z F Kingbolt. Good Reading talks to Editor-in-Chief Zena Shapter about the collaborative writing process, gaming and the adventures in the real world that mimic those found on the screen. Read on >
  • The BBC released a survey earlier this year in which they asked readers to name the books they had lied about having read. You can see the list below. I think I have read around half, as some I may have read in my youth that I’ve forgotten about (more about that later). How many of them have you read? The truth, please! Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • 4.5 STAR REVIEW This novel, Jane Jago’s first, explores the seldom-discussed issue of violence perpetrated by children against children. It also looks at juvenile incarceration and rehabilitation, and to whom culpability should be ascribed when children commit crimes. Published at a time when the mistreatment of juvenile offenders in Northern Territory detention centres has hit the headlines and a Royal Commission is under way, The Wrong Hand is a disturbing yet relevant read. Read on >

  • 4 Star Review Isabelle Li’s 16 short stories immerse our senses in the depth of feeling, rhythms, and the mysterious elusiveness of poetry, while her easy conversational style focuses on events in the lives of a number of people who have emigrated from China. Set largely in China, Australia, Singapore and also in the Philippines and London, the stories oscillate from the tropics to the temperate zones, and from the Northern to the Southern Hemisphere, where the moon in all its stages is the protagonists’ only companion. The stories reveal the emotional and cultural problems of the emigrants in a new land where they must deal with a new language. Read on >

  • 4 Star Review Britt-Marie’s husband, Kent, has a heart attack and his mistress is looking after him in a Swedish hospital. Britt-Marie is in shock. She thought her husband was on a business trip in Germany. She didn’t realise he had a mistress. Read on >

  • 4 Star Review The novel tells the story of two families over 50 years, one in Virginia and the other in California. When the father of one family divorces his wife to marry the mother of the other family, who divorces her husband, the scene is set for blended families at holiday times. Read on >

  • 4 Star Review At the centre of the novel is cricket, a national obsession in contemporary India. The Kumar brothers – handsome Radha, the prodigy who all the selectors are fighting over, and his younger brother, Manju – have been working all their lives under the diabolical gaze of their father to improve the family’s status through cricketing greatness. And it finally seems as if they have achieved it.  Read on >

  • 4 Star Review Jessie Burton’s debut novel, The Miniaturist, was published in 2014 to much fanfare but mixed reviews. It nonetheless became a bestseller. So it’s not surprising to discover that Burton struggled with the pressure that comes with writing a second novel. The Muse, however, is a solid achievement. Read on >

  • 5 Star Review What would you do if you knew you were the only person in America who could rescue the one man who could help bring the Manhattan Project to completion faster than the Nazi scientists could complete their own experiments with nuclear fusion? Read on >

  • 2.5 Star Review Bipolar psychiatrist Natalie King is recovering from a combination of PTSD and depression. She decides to relocate to a sleepy coastal town on the Great Ocean Road and complete her PhD at the local university. Her supervisor, Dr Frank Moreton, approaches her with a problem – his first wife died while pregnant, and now his second wife is pregnant and behaving erratically. Natalie reluctantly but irrevocably finds herself drawn in by Frank and his complex and tragic past. Read on >

  • 3 Star Review In this 14th ‘Charlie Parker’ thriller, John Connolly has again posited an ancient evil that prospers in a sleepy little backwoods American town. In this case, a cult-like group called the Cut (which is also the name of the area in which the group lives) worships an ancient totem, the Dead King, and for centuries they have lived off the proceeds of crime, rapine and murder. They live in isolation from the other inhabitants of the town and, generally, each side leaves the other alone. Read on >

  • 2.5 Star Review Sherlock Holmes is all very well, but lately we’ve see him and his knock-offs in so many books, movies and TV adaptations that it’s likely that some people are a bit sick of the Holmesian phenomenon. What to do then, if you’ve had enough of wise, inscrutable, mystery-solving young men? How about a wise, inscrutable, mystery-solving older woman? Read on >

See all Book Reviews for this Issue