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Reading is often thought of as an activity best practised in silent surroundings. But as world-famous American photographer STEVE McCURRY proves in this photo essay, On Reading, good writing can transport us from the tumult and distractions of our physical environment into other realms of fascination and delight.
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Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • 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 >
  • Read this and the ordinary world disappears,’ says Stephen King of
‘The Passage’ series. ANGUS DALTON talks with bestselling author JUSTIN CRONIN about his post-apocalyptic trilogy, the vampiric creatures he created to end humanity, and the last instalment of the series, The City of Mirrors. 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 >
  • FIONA CAPP is the internationally published, award-winning author of three works of non-fiction, including her memoir That Oceanic Feeling – which won the Kibble Award – and five novels, including Gotland, which was shortlisted for the 2014 Queensland Literary Awards. Fiona lives in Melbourne and works as a freelance writer and reviewer. Her latest novel, To Know My Crime, is a story of blackmail, risk, corruption, guilt and consequences set on the Mornington Peninsula. We asked Fiona to tell us about the books that have shaped her view of the world. Read on >
  • Lynda La Plante changed the face of crime fiction and television with Prime Suspect and its stoic lead character, DCI Jane Tennison. Her new series details how Tennison cut her teeth on London’s crime-ridden, gang-ruled streets in the 80s. We asked the queen of crime 10 questions ahead of her new book release, Hidden Killers. 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 >
  • Writer MIKE LUCAS and illustrator JENNIFER HARRISON tell gr about Olivia’s Voice, a new picture book about a deaf girl. Read on >
  • Biographies have long fascinated readers, serving as guides for how to live our own lives or often just giving us an intriguing peek into the world of extraordinary people. In this round-up we look at a comedian with a disability, a magician with a learning disorder, the real man behind Walter White of Breaking Bad and more. But we’re bending the biography rules a bit by also including a book by a philosopher that will prompt you to think about living a better life, a book about Aussies at war and an account of Queensland police leading lives of corruption. 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 >
  • ANGUS DALTON meets British historian, journalist and author L S HILTON as she publicises the most hotly anticipated thriller of 2016, Maestra. 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 >

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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