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Archive Discoveries

  • CATHY BURKE is the CEO of The Hunger Project Australia, an organisation that aims to end hunger in every part of the world by 2030. She has raised tens of millions of dollars to help empower people in Africa, India, Bangladesh and South America to feed themselves. We asked Cathy about the books that she has enjoyed reading and which have shaped her life, and we also talk about her own book, Unlikely Leaders. 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 >
  • For many of us, the streets of London or New York are more familiar
than the towns and settlements of the remote north and centre of our own country. But non-Indigenous artist and writer KIM MAHOOD, who spent many years of her childhood on a cattle station amid Indigenous lands, knows these parts of Australia well. In her new book, Position Doubtful, she recounts
 her frequent journeys from her home in Wamboin, near Canberra, back to Indigenous communities in NT and WA. We caught up with Kim in Alice Springs just as she was preparing to head out on a 1000 km road trip. Read on >
  • Ed Yong – science reporter for The Atlantic and blogger for National Geographic – has just published his first book, I Contain Multitudes: The microbes within us and a grander view of life. We asked him to tell us about his reading life.   What are you
reading now?
 Patient H.M. by 
Luke Dittrich, because 
my editor for my own 
book sent me a galley
 copy! I’m glad she
 did. Henry Molaison 
was arguably the most
influential patient in
all of neuroscience.
 After an operation to
cure his epilepsy, he lost the ability to form new memories – think Memento – and so taught us much about how our memories work. Dittrich is the grandson of the surgeon who operated on Molaison, and he brings a deeply personal flavor to the incisive reporting and colourful writing that characterise this book. What are your three favourite books?
 The Song of the Dodo: Island biogeography in the age of extinctions by David Quammen is natural history writing at its finest – a witty, insightful tour of the planet’s islands and what they tell us about our increasingly fragmented world. The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell offers genre-hopping stories but delivers a deep fable about hope and nihilism; I stared silently out a window for the longest time when I finished 
it. Being Wrong: Adventures in the margin of error by Kathryn Schulz is a wondrous study of human error that blends literature, science and philosophy. 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 >
  • Australian film director BRUCE BERESFORD (Driving Miss Daisy, Paradise Road) and film producer SUE MILLIKEN (Black Robe and Sirens) have collaborated on several films over their long careers. Their new book, There’s a Fax from Bruce: Edited correspondence between Bruce Beresford & Sue Milliken 1989- 1996, collects the communications – full of industry gossip, news and thoughts on books and films – from a pre-email era between these two filmmaking luminaries. They tell us here about the books that have influenced them. Read on >
  • Recent research has revealed the astonishing capabilities of dogs. We know that they can help vision- impaired people, but they can also sniff out cancer and even help to locate missing people. CAT WARREN in What the Dog Knows recounts how she adopted an unruly German shepherd puppy, Solo, who is eventually trained to locate human corpses. Read on >
  • Real-life historical figures and 18th-century court cases dealing with adultery inspired one of two interwoven storylines in The Wife’s Tale, a new novel by Australian author CHRISTINE WELLS. She tells MAUREEN EPPEN how the true events from the past inform her tale of scandal, intrigue, murder – and love.  Read on >
  • From an investigation into the scandals of the Catholic Church by Tom Keneally to Jeffrey Archer’s thrilling last instalment in the ‘Clifton Chronicles’ series or a tale of a shrewd female locksmith in the time of Queen Elizabeth I, these books will delight you over the long, languid days of summer. Read on >
  • If you set out to write a thriller, you’re going to have to do some research. And while your story will be fiction, you’ll probably uncover more than a few fascinating real-world facts, as Australian thriller author L A LARKIN discovered while researching for her latest novel, Devour. Read on >
  • 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.   Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • 4 Star Review Nutshell is probably unlike any other thriller you have read, largely because it is narrated by a foetus. This is an original novel that will resonate with anyone familiar with the story of Hamlet. Enjoy the Shakespearean undertones and the elegant prose. Read on >

  • 4 star review Hill’s dense, satisfying storytelling shines a critical and satirical light on contemporary America culture and introduces a cast of quirky characters – some strangely beguiling, others despicably toxic – all caught up in a series of bizarre events and experiences. Read on >

  • 2 star review Take a fiercely intelligent, ambitious, and profoundly naive college student. Add a brilliant physics professor and a dash of infatuation, and bake slowly in the stifling social mores of mid-20th century small-town USA.     Read on >

  • 3 star review Abel is dying, and the disembodied voice of a nurse is asking him to give a full account of himself. In dreamlike stream-of-consciousness prose, Abel tells the story of his life.     Read on >

  • 4 star review The title (based on a quote from Martin Luther King Jr: ‘If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.’) is what drives Ruth to take on the big issue of racism that she has pushed to the back of her mind for too long. Read on >

  • 4 star review This collection of short stories is a skilful exploration of characters who seem to inhabit a nebulous world: visible, present and yet somehow adrift on the margins of society. After the Carnage is a fine collection of stories and bodes well for her next novel, due out later this year. Read on >

  • 2 star review In this sixth book of the ‘Ancient Egypt’ series, Pharaoh Tamose is dead, leaving Taita, his chief advisor, in charge of the remnants of Pharaoh’s army, which faces an overwhelming Hyksos army. Their defeat seems unstoppable until succour arrives from a most unexpected source, and Taita emerges the victor. Read on >

  • 1 star review The college narrative presents Charlie, a wannabe entrepreneur who is trying to start a business, and Ellie, who is attempting to finish a dissertation on Nietzsche. Read on >

  • 4 star review The Rules of Backyard Cricket is an astute exploration of character and family. Serong takes us from ’70s suburbia through to a brutal present in which ex-cricketer Darren Keefe is cable-tied and lies wounded in the boot of a car. During his frightening ride, Darren remembers the life that has led him to this point. Read on >

  • 4 star review A tightly written thriller with enough twists and turns to keep you reading until the last page. Read on >

See all Book Reviews for this Issue