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A young woman’s quest to find her mother is at the heart of the latest saga from prolific Australian author and university lecturer KIMBERLEY FREEMAN. She tells MAUREEN EPPEN about the research involved in writing a story set in different time periods and on four continents, and reveals her unexpected hobbies.
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Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • The nose is a wonderful thing. A new study has found that the human nose can distinguish between at least one trillion different smells. I love nothing more than sticking my nose inside a blooming rose as I walk Baxter along the street. But I also have a passionate hatred of the choking diesel fumes disgorged from nearby cruise ships. So even though I may be able to detect over a trillion odours, there are many of them I don’t want to smell! Kate Grenville’s new book, The Case against Fragrance, has had me pondering the aromas, the scents and odours that enter my nose – whether I want them to or not. In 2015 Kate started to get frequent headaches and other signs of ill health and, strangely, they seemed to get worse when she was on tour to promote her latest book.After some effort to isolate the cause, she discovered that it was perfumes or other fragrances that were the culprits. She felt debilitated. She loved to meet her readers but was bombarded with fragrances in crowded rooms. She was compelled to find out what it was about perfumes that could be causing her these health problems. She opened a can of worms. Read on >
  • ARMANDO LUCAS CORREA is the Editor-in-Chief of People En Espanol,  the top-selling Hispanic magazine in the U.S. Here he writes of his personal connection to a group of Jewish refugees that departed from Hamburg, Germany in 1939 seeking refuge in Cuba. His novel The German Girl is a fictional account of the doomed voyage. 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 >
  • We chat to aspiring astronaut and sci-fi writer S J Kincaid on haunted graveyards, Star Trek, and her new YA galactic thriller, The Diabolic.  Read on >
  • The changing moral code and shift in gender roes of World War II provide the backdrop for JENNIFER RYAN's debut novel The Chilbury Ladies' Choir. She tells MAUREEN EPPEN about the people and events that inspired the story. 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 >
  • In the early 1900s, the luminescent properties of radium – a highly radioactive metal – had just been discovered, and entrepreneurs were quick to identify its marketing potential. They flooded supermarket shelves with radium-based products, and thousands of young women in North America were hired to paint clock dials with radium. The girls would go home with their hands aglow, oblivious to the bone-destroying radiation they had been exposed to. We spoke with London-based author KATE MOORE about these workers’ stories, which appear in her new book, The Radium Girls. Read on >
  • Novelist and journalist MAGGIE ALDERSON spent her gap year as a ‘ferocious punk rocker’ working at an advertising agency and starting her own punk fanzine, for which she interviewed Bob Geldoff and Billy Idol. She went on to become the editor of Evening Standard and Elle in London. She also spent eight years in Australia as editor of Cleo and Mode, and covering fashion shows in Milan and Paris for The Sydney Morning Herald. Now back in the UK, Maggie has just released a new novel, The Scent of You. She tells us why reading fairy stories is good training for any writer, who her literary crush is, and why War and Peace is the most emotionally involving books she's ever read. 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 >
  • Former pop-punk rocker LEN VLAHOS tells Good Reading about his new YA novel, Life in a Fishbowl, and how Marcus Zusak inspired him to write from the perspective of a brain tumour. Read on >
  • He has worked as a wilderness guide, a ranch hand and a dogsled musher – and he’s also a skilled marksman. But ERIK STOREY, a lover of the great outdoors, has come in out of the wild for long enough to turn out his first novel, Nothing Short of Dying. A thriller set in the mountainous landscape of western Colorado, it features Clyde Barr, a man with a military past who is fresh out of prison. We talked with Erik recently about dealing with rejection, the lure of western Colorado and his number-one tip for surviving in the wild. Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence by Alyssa Palombo I enjoyed this novel tremendously. An enjoyable journey to another time and place, it’s witty, detailed and well researched. Read on >

  • Bloodlines by Nicole Sinclair What constitutes a family? This novel, by an author who has lived on one of Papua New Guinea’s islands and who now calls Western Australia home, explores the different combinations of people that are family. Read on >

  • The House at Bishopsgate by Katie Hickman The descriptions of 17th-century life were rich with detail, which also meant that careful reading was required, a commitment that detracted from the experience. But lovers of historical fiction will no doubt very much enjoy this tale of love lost and found, scheming and duplicitous relations and the return of a prodigal son. Read on >

  • Congo Dawn by Katherine Scholes It’s a ripping yarn based on hideous historical events in the Congo, which even now is not at peace. Read on >

  • Congo Dawn by Cory Doctorow This is an intricate and engaging novel of a plausible near future that may prove to be more true to life than we wish it to be. Read on >

  • American War by Omar El Akkad The prologue forewarns the reader: ‘This isn’t a story about war. It’s about ruin.’ Sarat’s involvement with the war does not glorify bloodshed and it doesn’t endorse facile categorisations of good and bad. But it clearly reveals the senseless destruction of war. Read on >

  • The River Sings by Sandra Leigh Price Price weaves a magical tale that is rich in history and atmosphere that will sing to your traveller’s soul. Read on >

  • Her Mother's Secret by Natasha Lester Lester’s research for Her Mother’s Secret included walking the New York streets inhabited by her characters and examining original documents from the era. As a result, the vivid detail of the narrative has the ring of authenticity and is utterly compelling. Read on >

  • The Baltimore Boys by Joel Dicker Mystery, drama and unrequited love reluctantly give way to violence, revenge and betrayal. We are voyeurs lulled into a false sense of contentment, only to experience despair and anguish soon after. The Baltimore Boys is a saga that will, I suspect, be the basis of a smash-hit television series. Read on >

  • The Burning Ground by Adam O’Riordan All the stories make for a strong collection, but some of them inevitably stand up to scrutiny better than others; the first three stories are the strongest. On the whole, this is a powerful debut that shows perceptiveness and an engaging insight into human nature. Read on >

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