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Journalist and aspiring novelist MAUREEN EPPEN uses a humble graphite pencil to switch writing modes and boost her creativity.

Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • Australian historical novelist Pamela Hart tells us about her latest novel, A Letter From Italy, and Australia's first female war correspondent.  Read on >
  • Best known for his role as a team captain on ABC TV’s Spicks and Specks, ALAN BROUGH has also worked as a radio presenter,
actor and stand- up comedian. In the 1990s he also appeared in a series of TV commercials as a drag queen called Marge. He had always wanted to write, and now he has fulfilled that ambition with his new children’s book, Charlie and the War Against the Grannies. He tells us about the books that have made him the reader and writer that he is today. Read on >
  • The rugged beauty of England’s Lake District looms large in the latest psychological thriller by Perth-based author SARA FOSTER. She shares her passion for the natural world and her concerns about the potential impacts of electronic media with MAUREEN EPPEN. Read on >
  • Communicating the most exciting new developments in science to non-scientific readers can be a challenge. But Know This: Today’s most interesting and important scientific ideas, discoveries, and developments, takes up the challenge and lets dozens of eminent scientists tell us what they think are the most interesting recent developments in science. Here are two extracts from the book. Read on >
  • RICHARD ROXBURGH has been extraordinarily versatile over the
decades of his acting career. The Albury-born actor has played both Sherlock Holmes and his nemesis, Professor Moriarty, appeared as Count Dracula in the 2004 movie Van Helsing and played the lead role in Rake, a TV show he co-created. But he’s just as talented
on the page as he is on screen and stage; Roxburgh has written and illustrated a new kids’ book, Artie and the Grime Wave. We asked him about his influences and what lead him to this new project. Read on >
  • The stories of SUSAN PERABO have been likened to the work of George Saunders and Raymond Carver. Her latest novel, The Fall of Lisa Bellow, kicks off when school student Meredith is kidnapped together with her nemesis, Lisa Bellow. Meredith is set free – but Lisa remains. We asked Susan to tell us about short stories versus novels, her love of baseball and writing advice she has received. 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 >
  • The exact percentage of people with dyslexia is unknown, but it’s estimated at between 5 and 17 per cent of the population. And many people may not even be aware that they have the condition. There’s no cure for it, but now there’s a new way to help people overcome dyslexia – and it’s as simple as using a new font. Read on >
  • 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 >
  • Paul Mitchell is a poet, short story writer, and now a novelist with the release of We. Are. Family. Read on to find out about Paul's poetry, writing, and the way he explores family trauma and masculinity in Australia.  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 >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • It’s been over 25 years since the first Maisy books were published, and Maisy Goes Swimming was among them. Of course, if she’s going swimming, Maisy has to get undressed and we need to help her. Her blue hat and scarf first, then her brown boots and her red coat. Little tags on every page help us to put Maisy in her bright stripey swimsuit. Read on >

  • Maisy’s been for a holiday, she’s been for a sleepover and even visited a museum. Now it’s time to go the bookshop. She’s amazed how many books there are, which makes it very hard for her to choose. But Ostrich, the shopkeeper, helps her to find a lovely book about birds, just right for her friend, Tallulah. She meets her other friends – Charley, Cyril and Eddie – who all share their favourite books with one another. At story time Ostrich reads a book to them about a dinosaur. Then it’s off to the café where the food is so yummy. Read on >

  • This is a true story written by the author of such memorable picture books as Queenie: One Elephant’s Story and The Dog on the Tuckerbox. It’s a love story about a man and his pet gibbon and it’s beautifully presented with soft, wistful illustrations. Read on >

  • This is an extremely important book for every school and municipal library to have on its shelves. It’s written so that very young children will understand the injustice of it all, and the older ones in primary school will want to discuss the history of those days, which are written up in detail in the last pages of the book. Read on >

  • With a strong sense of contemporary Australian culture and a protagonist who is relatable, this story will stay with you. It’s a stirring tale brimming with the conflicts of youth growth and it offers a thoughtful take on issues relevant to the lives of many children. Read on >

  • The magical realism in Laura Ruby’s novel is beautifully rendered. The action switches seamlessly between Finn – his complicated home life and his new relationship with Petey – and Roza’s new life with the unrecognisable man. The conclusion is satisfying but perhaps too abrupt. Nonetheless, the love story, the search for Roza and the hope that Finn and Sean will finally be the winners will keep you reading. Read on >

  • I really admire how these two authors have co-written this book. The story is told from dual points of view. Jess expresses herself so capably, while Nicu tugs at our heartstrings with his broken English. The book is written in verse, which means, with fewer words on each page, the impact is so much greater. Read on >

  • Author Sara Barnard incorporates text message formatting to show the conversations between Steffi and Rhys, which makes them just like any other teenagers. Her novel is accessible and engrossing, even if you have no experience with social anxiety or hearing impairment. Read on >

  • If you want to do something a bit more creative with a spiraliser than grind out salad garnishes, then this book fills the bill. Read on >

  • By examining one man’s distinguished legal career, we get the opportunity to reflect at length on humanity’s dark side and become aware of the limitations of the law. Read on >

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