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Archive Discoveries

  • The mystery surrounding Agatha Christie’s 1926 disappearance provided the inspiration for On the Blue Train, the second novel of US-based Australian author KRISTEL THORNELL. She tells MAUREEN EPPEN how her research led her to parts of England where the celebrated mystery author lived – and to the North Yorkshire hotel wher she spent jer 'lost' days. Read on >
  • 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 >
  • A Melbourne woman proud of her 7000-year-old Persian heritage shines a light on family violence in a memoir covering three generations. SOHILA ZANJANI, author of Scattered Pearls, speaks with JENNIFER SOMERVILLE. Read on >
  • ALL IS GIVEN: A MEMOIR IN SONGS by LINDA NEIL She’s a Brisbane-based songwriter and an awardwinning producer of radio documentaries, and in this memoir LINDA NEIL travels the world, playing music and meeting people along the way. In this extract she recalls as a teenager being given the seemingly tedious duty of reading books to a blind neighbour. But what happened next surprised both the reader and the listener. Read on >
  •  Looking for an engrossing historical fiction read? gr has rounded-up eight of the best for you to try.   The books in Diana Gabaldon’s ‘Outlander’ series have undergone a renaissance recently after
being adapted into a BBC
TV series that has gained a cult following. When Claire Randall is thrown back in time from 1945 to 1743 she finds herself in a very different Scotland, where she is branded as an outlander or Sassenach (a derogatory word for an English person) in a country run by clans and invaded by Redcoats. Try this series if you like a well-researched historical sagas that have swashbuckling adventure and a bit of romantic romping. Read on >
  • Serious social issues, including the plight of unwed mothers, domestic violence and the place of women in Australia's history are wrapped up in poignant romace in VICTORIA PURMAN's new novel, The Three Miss Allens. She spekas with MAUREEN EPPEN about the inspiration behind the family saga set on the South Australian coast. Read on >
  • Find out about the inspiration behind the bestselling brilliance of Graeme Simsion's The Rosie Project, his new novel The Best of Adam Sharp, and how he made a name for himself by dressing as a duck. Read on >
  • GEORGIA BLAIN is a novelist and journalist who lives in Sydney. Her first novel, Closed for Winter, was adapted into movie in 2009. LEONIE DYER asked Georgia about her latest novel, Between a Wolf and a Dog. Read on >
  • When she was 16, MADELAINE DICKIE went to Denpasar, the capital 
of Bali, on a language exchange program.
 Since then she has been fascinated with Indonesia; she has lived and studied in our northern neighbour for three years and
 she speaks Indonesian fluently. Her first novel, Troppo, tells the story of Penny, an Australian expat who flees from her career- minded boyfriend in Perth to a seemingly carefree 
life of surfing in Indonesia. Madelaine tells us how she came to write the novel. Read on >
  • It’s 100 years since
 Roald Dahl’s birth on 13 September 1916. For many years now, 13 September has been celebrated as Roald Dahl Day.  I love all of Roald Dahl’s books. I love the naughty antics his characters get up to in so many of his stories. I love reading about the fascinating life he led – especially his wartime flying exploits – and I really loved how he made the nasty grandmother in George’s Marvellous Medicine just go ‘pop’ and disappear. I think we all have someone in our life we’d like that to happen to occasionally. If you are yet to read his memoirs – Boy and Going Solo – I can’t recommend them highly enough. Read on >
  • 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 >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • Grief is an individual experience and one that most people cannot articulate. For Lucy Palmer, a journalist, editor and author, it was an intense, difficult, uplifting time, and this skilled wordsmith takes readers with her on every step of her physical, emotional and spiritual journey. Read on >

  • 2.5 Star Review The Kept Woman is a lurid melodrama that isn’t quite serious, or tongue in cheek enough to really satisfy on any level. Read on >

  • This novel has a strong narrative, a well-rounded principal character and a memorable supporting cast. Murder should result only from deep-rooted emotions and the author does not disappoint. I look forward to further books in the series. Read on >

  • Like Yann Martel’s Life of Pi, this book is an allegory that crosses several genres and consists of three stories that span generations. Read on >

  • 5 Star Review This book, which is anything but a dry history, brings the first 80 years of this settlement alive with its personal stories of love, hate and bravery, interspersed among the fascinating historical facts that I never learned. Robert Macklin calls Hamilton Hume ‘our greatest explorer’, and now that I’ve read this enthralling but at times shocking story, I totally agree. Read on >

  • 4.5 Star Review The smoothie has been around for several decades, but this book shows how they have evolved into a highly sophisticated beverage. Read on >

  • 5 star review This is historical fiction at its finest and most compelling. Read on >

  • 4 Star Review Once you start reading The Fence you’ll find it hard to put it down, and you just might feel more kindly toward those who live near you. Read on >

  • 3.5 Star Review I had never read any Jay McInerney before this novel, but I knew that he had a reputation for good, modern American writing. And if you like that kind of thing – realistic characters with true-to-life concerns – he is one to watch. His prose is crisp and poetic and his characters are finely drawn. Read on >

  • 5 star review There is so much to enjoy about this book; my tip is that it will become a firm favourite with book clubs. Read on >

See all Book Reviews for this Issue