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Kentucky-based writer KAYLA RAE WHITAKER tells gr about her debut novel, The Animators, which follows the turbulent creative partnership between two indie animators in New York City.
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Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • It’s often said that whatever happens in our childhoods resonates throughout the rest of our lives – for good or for ill. This was certainly the case for TIM ELLIOTT, who grew up with a father who suffered from bipolar disorder. TIM GRAHAM spoke to him about the lingering effects of a tumultuous childhood and his memoir ofpaternal madness, Farewell to the Father. Read on >
  • For many of the families of servicemen killed in World War I, a terse telegram from the government was never going to be enough to assuage their grief. Families wrote back in their thousands, seeking more information about the fate of their loved ones. It was the task of James M Lean to reply to these families and, as author CAROL ROSENHAIN outlines in The Man Who Carried the Nation’s Grief, he did so with extraordinary empathy and sensitivity. Read on >
  • Perth crime writer David Whish-Wilson reveals how the history of organised crime in WA and his many encounters with criminals, from teaching writing to inmates to meeting biker gangs, has influenced his novels.  Read on >
  • Alison Evans is a genderqueer writer, lover of bad movies, and co-founder of the zine Concrete Queers. Here Alison tells us about her new spec-fic novel, Ida, and non-binary identities in YA fiction. 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 >
  • 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 a officious woman named Constance Kopp. This discovery catalysed her historical crime-fiction series based around Constance and her two sisters, set in New Jersey in 1915. As the second instalment in the series, Lady Cop Makes Trouble, is released, Angus Dalton finds out more. 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 >
  • 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 symptoms of boredom, loneliness and heartache can often be alleviated by exposure to a good novel. But poetry can also have a similar healing effect. If you suffer from any of the following undesirable conditions, try these three poetic prescriptions that might just do the trick. 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 >
  • Adelaide writer STEPHEN 
ORR, whose book The Hands
 was longlisted for the 2016 
Miles Franklin Award, likes to
travel the world inspecting
 sites of literary interest – when 
he’s not writing about cattle 
stations and small towns. Here 
he recounts a recent journey to
 the British Isles and Germany on 
which he visited the homes and
 haunts of some of the world’s best known authors. Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • Lovely big, doggy illustrations and just a few lines of text on each page make this a perfect book for the littlies – especially if they have a four-legged friend at home.   Read on >

  • You’ll love Piggy and his ove rsized red glasses. And the big, bright and happy illustrations filling every page must surely make for a happy ending. Read on >

  • The details about how to use the app are on the book’s back cover. There is also an informative website – wordhunters.com.au – that includes helpful tips for teachers. Read on >

  • This involved tale has many twists and turns that sometimes leave the reader a little puzzled. The narration has an old-fashioned quality, reminiscent of Gothic European fairytales. Read on >

  • Chris Riddell has created a world of whimsy and charm, brought to life by his quirky illustrations. Ottoline is a resourceful and creative young lady who, despite missing her parents, manages to cope very well. Of course, having a friend like Mr Munroe is a bonus. Read on >

  • This is not a tale of triumph. At the end of six weeks, Japanese and Australian losses from air combat were about equivalent. The subsequent and much more famous Kokoda campaign was, in fact, a symptom of imperial Japanese desperation. Read on >

  • The short, blunt sentences in Leah’s narration seem jolting at first, but they create a flat and deliberate pace that sets the dull and desperate tone for the book and the lives of its residents. If you like bleak snapshots of small-town America, this book is for you. Read on >

  • Saltwater is a memoir of sorts written by a Queensland lawyer. It recounts her time working for the Aboriginal Legal Service in North Queensland. Read on >

  • Reading this book made me realise the need to make better choices to improve our collective health and to make a personal contribution to the earth’s future sustainability on every level. Read on >

  • The energy in James Rollins’s writing is palpable. He draws readers in to the action from the outset, creating enough twists and turns in the events to maintain a level of intensity that carries through to the final page. Read on >

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