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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. 
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Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • The author of The Woman Who Changed Her Brain: And other inspiring stories of pioneering brain transformation, busts long-held conceptions about how our minds function. 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 >
  • 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 >
  • Following on from her two-million-selling historical novel Orphan Train, CHRISTINA BAKER KLINE has delved into the backstory of a famous painting by Andrew Wyeth to write her new novel, A Piece of the World. ANGUS DALTON talks with the author.  Read on >
  • When it goes right, love can make you feel like you’re walking on air. But where can you turn if it all goes sour – or you have trouble finding it in the first place? The Club di Giulietta of Verona, Italy, is a group of volunteers that answers the letters of the lovelorn, the lovesick and those just plain confused by matters of the heart. GLENN DIXON travelled to Verona, where he tried his hand at answering these letters, and his new book, Juliet’s Answer: How one man found the true meaning of love in fair Verona, is the result. Read on >
  • 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 >
  • 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 >
  • If you think of the German navy in World War II, then you probably conjure up images of grand-scale conflicts such as the Battle of the Atlantic or the Baltic Sea campaigns. But not so many people are aware that German ships were also on the prowl down in the South Pacific and in the Indian Ocean, where they disguised themselves as ordinary freighters before launching their deadly assaults on unsuspecting Allied craft. False Flags, a new account by Canberra author STEPHEN ROBINSON, tells the story of four German raiders, including the infamous attack by one of them, the Kormoran, on the HMAS Sydney in 1941. GRANT HANSEN reports. Read on >
  • Church attendance has been plummeting for decades, yet enrolments for church-based schools are soaring. Nearly all non-churchgoers say that they like having a church in their suburb – although they never go inside it. Leading social researcher HUGH MACKAY takes a look at our contradictory attitudes to religion in his new book, Beyond Belief. In this article, Hugh recounts a part of his own spiritual journey and how he came to write the book. Read on >
  • Meet the author who won the ABIA General Fiction Book of the Year 2015, and find out about her latest title, The Art of Keeping Secrets. Read on >
  • In her latest novel, Melbourne author JANE RAWSON adds an air of otherworldliness to the story of her ancestor who survived a 19th-century shipwreck. She talks to MAUREEN EPPEN about history, aliens and the benefits of having been a ‘hack writer’ for 25 years.  Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • The author's portrayal of the dynamics of a large, bewildered family shows that she has observed other people closely.   Read on >

  • The Scandalous Life of Sasha Torte is pure escapism. Read on >

  • This is a novel about being lost, being found, and about the extinction of species, of feelings, and family. Read on >

  • This is one of the best books I’ve read in the past year. Read on >

  • While the lives of these characters become increasingly entwined, and a consumptive whore, an opium den and titled lechers represent the seedy underbelly of Parisian life, it’s the progress of the controversial tower that really captures the imagination. Read on >

  • A good read, if a trifle melodramatic at times. Read on >

  • Instead of writing a sequel, Roemmers has written a response to the French masterpiece. The Return of the Young Prince has captured the essence of The Little Prince and brings to it a more mature and explicitly philosophical discussion. Read on >

  • These are contemporary, realistic stories of disillusionment in a country that naively still thinks of itself as the place of the fair go. Read on >

  • This sparse evocation of the man’s ensuing attempt at survival is utterly compelling. Read on >

  • At times it seems as if the author cannot imagine more interesting problems for his characters to deal with in the future than those presented by their sex drives. Read on >

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